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Mobile Development's Biggest Problem: Retention

  • November 27, 2012
  • By Developer.com Staff

Two experts are calling on the mobile development industry to solve its biggest challenge: retaining users. Venture capitalist Brian Wilson wrote, "Distribution is much harder on mobile than web, and we see a lot of mobile first startups getting stuck in the transition from successful product to large user base. Strong product market fit is no longer enough to get to a large user base. You need to master the 'download app, use app, keep using app, put it on your home screen' flow, and that is a hard one to master."

Cristina Cordova from mobile payments startup Stripe echoed that thought, blogging, "Companies and the press often talk about downloads, flips, check-ins or even activity among active users. They avoid discussing monthly active users. Why? By far, the biggest problem facing mobile companies today is retaining the users that download their applications. An app is only a long-press away from being dismissed to the second, third or fourth page of apps on a user’s device. How mobile companies aim to defeat the retention problem in a world of fickle social users will be their true test."

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